I suppose it is best that we begin this discussion by stating what MisterE has enlightened us with many a time: Just because a substantial number of individuals believe in something does not mean that their beliefs are substantiated (the numbers don’t cut it). So, if 99.9% of scientists really do believe that evolution is the end all, be all, then I suppose we’d have to use this same logic (with that said, I’d need to see the operationalization going on with the term "scientist" before I accepted the "fact" that only .1% of scientists believe that evolution is reminiscent of swiss cheese) to exclaim that the mere number of scientists who embrace evolution really means nothing at all. This, of course, is similar to the response I received from critics when I stated that the majority of the country and world accepts the idea that a Higher Power exists.
What is perhaps most intriguing about the creationism vs. evolution debate is the nature of the critics on both sides of the spectrum. Clearly, as someone who believes in creationism, I find it odd that any individual/group that works to prove creationism’s validity is so vehemently attacked.
Organizations that promote creationistic ideas are criticized as though they were eliciting illegalities! And the method by which they are criticized is nonsensical. A Christian could easily say the same thing: "That scientist is overtly influenced by his beliefs, so he’s going around trying to convince everyone that he’s right! He’s disguising the truth with his science!"
And at this point, a proponent of science’s commonly held evolutionary ideals would say, "But, but…we’re proven that science has it right! 99.9% of scientists accept evolution!" But I thought that the number of people believing in something meant nothing? "But, but…we’ve proven evolution indefinitely!" Yes, you have. Micro evolution. When there are no scientists contesting creationism (whether it’s .1% or 50% of the scientific body), it is then that evolution and the Big Bang will be the end all, be all.
Evolution continues to be debatable both inside and outside of scientific institutions. Period.
There’s the Discovery Institute, which is undoubtedly controversial. The organization has scientists on board who deny evolutionary theory (in the macro sense) and has been criticized excessively. Here’s a blurb for your enjoyment:
Discovery Institute’s mission is to make a positive vision of the future practical. The Institute discovers and promotes ideas in the common sense tradition of representative government, the free market and individual liberty. Our mission is promoted through books, reports, legislative testimony, articles, public conferences and debates, plus media coverage and the Institute’s own publications and Internet website.
But, let’s leave Discovery alone for now. How about Wernher von Braun? He was one of the leading developers of rocket technology in Germany and the U.S. Not only was he well respected, but he was also a creationist:
For me, the idea of a creation is not conceivable without invoking the necessity of design. One cannot be exposed to the law and order of the universe without concluding that there must be design and purpose behind it all. In the world around us, we can behold the obvious manifestations of an ordered, structured plan or design. We can see the will of the species to live and propagate. And we are humbled by the powerful forces at work on a galactic scale, and the purposeful orderliness of nature that endows a tiny and ungainly seed with the ability to develop into a beautiful flower. The better we understand the intricacies of the universe and all it harbors, the more reason we have found to marvel at the inherent design upon which it is based.
Obviously, that’s not going to convince you, but as we start to look at evidence over the next few weeks, keep an open mind. After all, the following words illustrate a methodology that is often taken (and an improper one at that) by WhereIStanders:
While the admission of a design for the universe ultimately raises the question of a Designer (a subject outside of science), the scientific method does not allow us to exclude data which lead to the conclusion that the universe, life and man are based on design. To be forced to believe only one conclusion - that everything in the universe happened by chance - would violate the very objectivity of science itself. Certainly there are those who argue that the universe evolved out of a random process, but what random process could produce the brain of a man or the system of the human eye?
So, there we begin. The discussion will continue — this is merely an introduction. He’s a reputable scientist who believed (after Darwin’s theory was presented) that life was the result of order and planning.